Many people think that in the Hindu tradition, worshipping a deity or an idol is imaginary and superstitious. Why worship a stone, they ask?
However, the ancient Vedic texts and the Lord Himself states that one should not think in such a way. They boldly declare that the Deity form of the Lord is a merciful incarnation of the Lord for the benefit of the common people. If God is present everywhere, why not in a stone too? Infact, everything single thing in existence, whether they be a living entity or a non-living entity, are energies of the Lord. They are all part & parcel of the Lord. Everything in existence belongs to Him. This is one of the reasons why He is the greatest.
The Hindu devotees understand that the lord allows us to approach Him and showcase our love to Him through the via medium of a Deity while we are still conditioned in the material world. The Deities are installed through a very rigorous process of mantras and by qualified priests & devotees. The Lord enters such a setup and infuses the “stone” with His energy which in turn helps us put the fire of material existence from our hearts whenever we come in contact with that Deity. There are thousands of temples around the world visited by millions of people – why would they visit just to gaze upon a stone? No, they have experienced wonderful reciprocation with the Lord and they feel protected and satisfied.
Below is a wonderful read from the Mayapur Academy’s recent newsletter, of a Hare Krishna devotee from South Africa who shares her experience of Deity Worship. I found her stories of interactions with the Lord very interesting. Of-course, this is not surprising at all because a devotee knows that the Lord will reciprocate based on your reciprocation with Him, whether it be through the means of the mind, through a Deity, through His books or His devotees. Hope you will visit a temple in the future with a different frame of mind 🙂